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Dubois County CASA

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Who is a CASA?

Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers trained to represent the best interests of children who are part of the court system due to abuse or neglect. As a CASA, you can make a huge difference in a child’s life during this uncertain time.

Advocates are assigned their first case after 30 hours of training. This training consists of class time, reading, courtroom observation, and shadowing a seasoned volunteer on a visit. Once training is completed, advocates have the support of the Director and other volunteers as they work their case.

CASAs average 5 hours a month on their cases. They must be available to attend court hearings approximately once every three months and team meetings approximately once a month. CASAs are also required to complete at least 12 hours of in-service training per year.

Make a Difference

Watch this short video about why CASAs volunteer their time:

Apply Now

Or you can help provide funding for the program both now and in the future by making a tax-deductible gift to the Dubois County CASA Endowment:

Donate

A History of Helping

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA) was founded in 1984 to train volunteers to become court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in court cases. The nonprofit group, based in Seattle, has 940+ offices and more than 77,000 volunteers in every state but North Dakota (where child advocates are paid professionals).

In 1991, Judge Hugo (Chad) Songer initiated the Dubois County CASA program to advocate for children who had been abused or neglected. This was partially in response to state legislation which mandated a CASA for the most serious Children in Need of Services (CHINS) cases.

In 2005, the state law was changed to require a CASA for all CHINS cases, regardless of severity. The Dubois County CASA program, as it existed at the time, was not prepared to handle the increased caseload. John Siebert agreed to become Director of the CASA Program, where he spearheaded a strong effort to recruit additional CASA volunteers. The effort was largely successful and the Dubois County CASA program expanded to meet the needs of the county. In March of 2007, the Dubois County CASA Program was recognized by the State Office of CASA as a state-certified program in compliance of all standards.

Dubois County CASA Team

Leadership Team

Judge Verkamp
Nathan Verkamp
Dubois Co. Circuit Court Judge
812.481.7020
Nathan Verkamp has been the Judge of the Dubois Circuit Court since 2015. Prior to that, he worked in Dubois County and the surrounding counties. His law practice was a general practice and he worked in many areas of law to include juvenile law. As Judge of the Circuit Court, he presides over all juvenile cases in Dubois County. This includes all cases involving children in need of services (CHINS). CHINS cases are those in which a child under the age of 18 has been the victim of abuse or neglect. The CASA program provides an unbiased advocate for the children going through the court system. The CASA program in Dubois County is sponsored by the Dubois Circuit Court and funded by the Dubois County Council and state grants.

Deena Hubler
Deena Hubler
CASA Program Director
812.639.0143
Deena has been the Director of the Dubois County CASA Program since 2008 and served as a volunteer for 2 years before joining the staff. As Director, she is responsible for the overall management of the Program and all aspects of the Programs operations. This primarily involves the supervision and coordination of a volunteer service program that provides CASA services to abused and neglected children. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to, resource development and maintenance, recruitment and training and supervision of volunteers, community and public relations, program planning, Program liaison, personnel management and fiscal management.

Nicole Kreilein
Nicole Lampert
Recruitment Chairman
Nicole was sworn in as a CASA in 2013. In addition to volunteering on a number of CHINS (child in need of services) cases, Nicole recently assumed the role of the Recruitment Chair where she leads a committee of other volunteers focused on marketing and volunteer recruiting for the CASA program. These activities include media appearances, community events, website/social media management and PR efforts.

Elaine Schitter
Elaine Schitter
Case Manager
812.639.4854
Elaine started as a part-time case manager in May of 2017. She served as a volunteer for 2.5 years prior to joining the staff. As a case manager, she is responsible for providing support to volunteers, working with them to provide sound advocacy for each child. She also assists with recruiting, screening, interviewing and training of new volunteers and provides overall assistance to the Director as needed.

Current CASA Volunteers
Angie Anderson  Jason Green  Allison Rodich 
Kimberly Becher  Lisa Guthrie  Cricket Rumbach 
Becky Beckman  Tina Martin Angie Sanchez-Hostetter 
Ginny Begle  Janelle Hasenour  Jamie Seitz
Lee Begle  Tammy Hawkins  Lori Wigand
Alicia Bies-Pfau  Kaye Jerrell  Leonard Spellmeyer
Clayton Boyles  Dawn Kilian  Bill Schmitt 
Laura Buck  Nicole Lampert Debra Schmitt 
Joe Buehler  Brenda Krempp  Janet Sendelweck 
Renee  Nord Kim Lampert-Tucker  Ann Staff 
Jennifer Daunhauer  Kelly Lehmkuhler  Michelle Sternberg 
Dixie Denton  Dianne Matheis  John Yoder
Natalie Desser  Jane Merder  Terri Tigue 
Jane Flannagan  Ann Metzger  Sarah Wendholt 
Jason Piper Julie Monetta  Danielle Wendholt 
Sally Gogel Fischer  Mary Poston  Kim Wilson 
Annie Gramelspacher  Rafaela Schaick  Brooke Sanders 
Ken Rihm  Kitty Recker   
       

Volunteer Testimonials

"I volunteer because every child deserves to be heard and have a voice – Sarah Wendholt, Volunteer"

"We were comfortably retired when we decided it was time to give back to our communities. We chose the CASA program because we both had a desire to help children. As a couple, we have found it to be beneficial to share processes and experiences, as well as to provide support and advice to each other. This is our way of “paying it forward” and the payback in helping children in immeasurable – Lee & Ginny Begle, Volunteers"

"Wanting change doesn’t make it happen. Just thinking about a child doesn’t impact their life. Volunteering does! If you want good things to happen for the children in our community, volunteer now! – Tammy Warner, Volunteer"